Boosting, not cutting Social Security disability benefits

Apr 07 2015

Every year, the Social Security Administration announces a COLA (cost of living adjustment). Those receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI or SSD) are often disappointed. The COLA is typically around a percentage point or so; sometimes it has even been nothing whatsoever. Some disability advocates say even with the COLAs, the benefits awarded to disabled workers are barely enough to keep people alive; and the benefits are far from the stereotype sometimes portrayed in media of people on SSD living the good life while loafing. The reality is instead that these are disabled workers dealing with significant physical or psychological…

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Need more help in promoting safety and aiding injured workers

Apr 06 2015

Certain reports claim injured workers are receiving less support from employers than they did in the past. Despite complaints by employers about costs of contributing to workers’ compensation programs, employers seem to be paying less in workers’ compensation premiums than in the past when compared to the wages they are paying workers. Also, studies suggest that employers are paying less into the workers’ compensation system relative to other costs than has historically been paid in the past. There appears to be justifiable concern that the responsibility of costs for injuries is shifting towards injured workers. Such circumstances particularly harm low-income…

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April showers love on occupational therapists

Apr 01 2015

April weather in Denver is predictably unpredictable. It can snow, it can rain, it can blow and the sun can shine. And that’s all by noon. Another thing we can count on here: occupational therapists. They’re some of the folks who can help people recover from on-the-job injuries. This month celebrates their contributions to the health of Colorado workers. In some cases of injury, it is simply not possible for a worker to return to their job. In those situations, occupational therapists can help the injured person to regain skills needed in everyday life and create goals — and strive…

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Going it alone: are risks of losing a workers’ comp appeal worth it?

Mar 25 2015

Going it alone: are the risks of losing a workers’ comp appeal worth it?The Colorado Department of Labor’s website is filled with information useful to workers injured on the job and who are filing for workers’ compensation benefits. On the site, you can find information on how the claim-filing process works and how the appeals process works, too. You’ll also learn that both processes can be tackled alone, without legal representation. But before you try to tackle an appeal of a comp decision that didn’t go your way, read through the rules of procedure. The rules are not optional; everyone…

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Disabled second baseman hopes to hit another homer

Mar 18 2015

As Denver fans of the Colorado Rockies will surely testify, there are few purely American passions that run deeper than the one for baseball. But even baseball fans might be taken aback by a recent headline: “It’s easier to win a World Series than get Social Security disability.” That’s the conclusion of a TV station that reported on the long and winding saga of World Series hero Brian Doyle. Long-time fans of the sport might recall Doyle as the light-hitting New York Yankees second baseman who helped the Bronx Bombers take the 1978 fall classic. Uncharacteristically, Doyle tore through Los…

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How much is a leg worth in Colorado?

Mar 11 2015

Look down at your legs. How much are they worth to you? Probably quite a bit. Be warned, however, that no matter how much they are worth to you, they are undoubtedly worth quite a bit less to a workers’ compensation insurer here in our state. If someone loses a leg in a workplace accident in Denver, for instance, the maximum compensation available is $162,869. Compare that to Alabama, however, where the most you can get from workers’ comp for an amputated leg is $44,000, according to ProPublica. ProPublica is a non-profit news organization that does investigative journalism in the…

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A look at the wheels on the bus going round and round

Mar 06 2015

You might remember that a couple of years ago, U.S. News & World Report gave the Denver-Aurora metro area the top spot in the publication’s nationwide ranking of public transportation systems. U.S. News pointed to our light rail line, bus system and airport shuttle service as evidence that no big city in the nation helps residents and visitors move around better than we do. Accolades are always nice, but when a transportation system is going in so many directions at once, there are also going to be risks of injuries and illnesses affecting bus drivers. Of course, any injuries or…

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Feb 25 2015

As the remaining days of February dwindle, we look ahead to March and the coming of spring. With spring comes a renewal of energy and sense of purpose. For people who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, March is set aside as a month to make people more aware of the disease and ways to combat it and help prevent it. Colorectal cancer affects both men and women, the Centers for Disease Control says, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the nation. At Alverson + O’Brien, P.C., we join millions of Americans in…

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Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: fair warning

Feb 21 2015

When a Denver construction worker is injured on the job, one of the first things he or she might do after receiving medical treatment is to go to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s website. The site is crammed with useful information tailored to various audiences, including injured workers, employers, doctors, insurers and workers’ comp attorneys, among others. One very important group of people in the “among others” category is those who decide to represent themselves in critical disputes with insurers, employers or physicians over workers’ compensation benefits. As the Department of Labor and Employment states, most claims are…

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A plan for fixing Social Security for decades

Feb 11 2015

The issue is detailed and discussed more and more in newspapers and on websites Denver residents read. The issue is the looming budget shortfall for the Social Security Disability trust fund. As we have noted in this space before, if no funding fix is implemented, the trust will be able to pay SSDI/SSD beneficiaries only about 80 percent of their benefits. However, Sen. Bernie Sanders has come up with a solution detailed in a 12-page report. The solution is straightforward: eliminate the cap on payroll deductions. That simple step would mean that middle-class taxpayers and millionaires would contribute the same…

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